Mono Colectivo US Trip 2015

9 of the 10 photographers, missing is Andrés Sánchez Muñoz who left for the US before the rest.

On Sunday, ten photographers from Medellín got on a bus to Chicago from Iowa City to catch buses and planes back to Colombia, ending an almost three-week trip in the United States.

These photographers were brought to the United States by 54 individual donors to fototazo who came together to give them over $9,000 towards the trip. For five of the photographers, it was their first trip outside of Colombia, for eight of them their first trip to the US and for all of them their first opportunity for an intensive photography workshop. This post is a report and also a thank you to these donors so they can see the experiences that they provided for this group of young photographers. In the following days, fototazo will publish short portfolios of the work that the participants made in Iowa City.

After landing in Chicago on June 18th, we first stopped in Madison, Wisconsin to meet with Andy Adams of Flak Photo for a conversation on photography distribution, strategies for establishing an online presence and participation in a community online. We then moved on to Minneapolis for four days to visit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (The Walker Arts Center was closed for an event), a tour with Leslie Hammons, Director of the Weinstein Gallery and visits to the photographic studios of Beth Dow and Alec Soth.

We then moved to Iowa for a 10-day workshop at the University of Iowa run by Jeff Rich and myself, with invaluable help from Zora J. Murff and Matt Williams, in what we termed the Intensive Workshop for Emerging Latin American Photographers at the University of Iowa, a project we have already begun talking about expanding in future summers.

Thank you, one last time, to our donors for changing the perspectives and possibilities for the future for ten strong young photographers and incredible people. The pictures below and everything that happens in them we owe to you.

The photos are chronological.

Yes! We made it! To Mexico City. For an 11-hour layover

Chicago, making me look the fool for promising warm lazy summer days

Arrival at O'Hare. I promised them the US offers more than O'Hare

Such as a round table with Andy Adams of Flak Photo in Madison, Wisconsin

That extreme cognitive dissonance of having your students from Medellín at the dining room table you ate your
childhood Thanksgiving dinners on

Beth Dow studio visit. Aura making me nervous with her drink near Beth's masterful prints

Beth shared her work with us and gave us a tour of the University of Minnesota studio art facilities

The ten photographers giving Alec Soth's prints their critical eyes.
We determined Soth to be a fine young photographer with promise in the field

Carrie Thompson, photographer and Alec Soth assistant, takes us behind the scenes at the studio

A visit to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was thrown in for good measure

That moment images from your photography textbooks are in your physical presence. Fetishism at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Natalia discovering Vietnamese spring rolls

Juliana and Natalia step into Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

Monica, Angelica, Margarita, Natalia and Alba at Mickey's Dining Car in St. Paul

Mickey's Dining Car, St. Paul

Mono Colectivo at the Mississippi River

With Mom and Dad Griggs at their favorite suburban Minneapolis watering hole

Margarita leads the cross-examination of Director Leslie Hammons on Edward Burtynsky's work at the Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis

Natalia helps guide our 15-passenger chariot to Iowa City. Photo Juliana Henao Alcaraz

At Pagliai's Pizza in Iowa City

Jeff Rich tells Mono Colectivo what's what

Zora J. Murff during a workshop on printing

Matt Williams and Zora J. Murff help Aura hang work for the exhibition at the Levitt Gallery

Install at the Levitt Gallery of work by Margarita, Natalia and Juliana

Opening a the gallery, the super tall guy is interviewing members of Mono-colectivo for the Daily Iowan
Photo Juliana Henao Alcaraz

The ten photographers involved on the gallery walls. Photo Juliana Henao Alcaraz

Gallery sign. Photo Juliana Henao Alcaraz

Andrés dressed for December in July, guarding his work from potential theft by his many crazed fans. Photo Juliana Henao Alcaraz 

Lighter moment at the gallery with Mono Colectivo and Jeff Rich. Photo Juliana Henao Alcaraz

Photobook workshop with Aura, Monica, Natalia and Alba. All look run down after nine intense workshop days.
Natalia ready for a shootout? Or to join the Zapatistas?

Jeff Rich presenting his new book project to collective members

Natalia shows her photobook maquette to Matt Williams, Alba, Juliana, Edwin and Aura

Last shot of an emptied workshop space. Ten days went quick

Boarding the bus back to Chicago